Key Mali rebel group splinters
One of the main Islamist groups in Mali has split, with the breakaway faction saying it is ready for talks to end a two-week-old French- led offensive, amid mounting concerns over rights abuses by government troops.
The first of the 6,000 troops pledged by African nations to support France's intervention started heading north, moving closer to the areas a triad of al-Qaeda-linked groups seized in April. Cracks emerged in the rebel front, however, when a new faction announced it had broken away from Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith).
| "Please don't let them kill us!"|
The newly formed Islamic Movement for Azawad yesterday said it "rejected all forms of extremism and terrorism and is committed to fighting them," adding that it wants a "peaceful solution" to the Mali crisis.
| Perhaps because they understand that even a poorly-trained African army can kick their asses...|
The use of the Tamasheq term Azawad appeared to further signal a willingness among the group's Tuareg ranks to distance themselves from al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb and the Malian insurgency's mainly foreign leadership.
Posted by: tipper 2013-01-24